For the first time in 15 years I’m gym-less. Yup, that’ right, no gym membership for me. It’s not like I’ve ever loved going to the gym but it has always been an option and something I needed to have. Even in college when I could barely afford groceries (or a $10 handle of cheap-ass vodka ;)), I still made sure I could afford a membership at a nice gym off-campus. But I’ve gotten to the point where it’s more of a hassle going to the gym and it’s only going to get harder once baby Doyle arrives in August. So I gave up my LA Fitness membership and will instead work-out on my own. Here’s how I’ll do it:
1) Build a home gym
It doesn’t require much to build a decent gym in your house. This is what we currently have in our
lovely unfinished basement gym:
- Treadmill: As I’ve mentioned, we just purchased a new treadmill (‘Milly’) last week and I’m in love with her. So on the days when I can’t run/walk outdoors, I’ll simply head to our basement for a treadmill workout.
- Free weights in all different sizes: I have free weights in 2, 5, and 8 lbs while Mike has his own heavier manly free weights. I purchased the weights at Target but I’ve also seen them at Marshalls and TJ Maxx for super cheap prices.
- Jump rope: If you don’t own a jump rope already, you need to head out and buy one! Jumping rope is an awesome, quick, effective way to burn calories and get the heart rate up.
- Large gym mat: This is necessary for ab work, circuit training, stretching, yoga, etc. We picked one up at Sears but you could easily use a yoga mat or a carpet.
- Access to DVD’s and YouTube: Workout DVD’s are the best! I love following along to a yoga video, getting my sweat on with my Jillian Michael’s DVD’s and checking out the thousands (millions?) of free workouts on YouTube. We don’t have a TV in our gym so I just set my lap top on the table and get after it!
That’s really all we have or need in our gym. Most of my circuits (lunges, squats, push-ups, planks, jumping jacks, etc.) require no equipment so thankfully it’s super easy to do them at home.
2) Run/ walk outside
I’d choose running outside over any other activity. In order to keep the runs exciting, I like to switch it up and have a variety of routes (we all know how painfully boring it is to run around our neighborhood over and over again). On days when I need a long run, I’ll head to Southie and run Castle Island and along the beach. On the other days I’ll either run the lake by my house or I’ll run around the Breakheart Reservation loop. And on the few days that I’m feeling extra ambitious, I’ll add in a track workout or stair repeats.
3) Sign-up for studio classes (barre, yoga, spin, pilates… )
Now that I’m not paying for a gym membership, I can afford to sign up for more yoga and barre classes. Woohoo!! I’m hoping to take a class a week and maybe add in a spin class every once in a while.
4) Set-up workout dates with friends
(My workout buddy, Jacki and I before a ‘lil 5K race)
Since I’m prego and can’t enjoy happy hours with my girlfriends, I’ve been trying to plan fun workout dates instead. So far my friends and I have taking a barre class followed by dinner, a spin class with brunch afterwards, a walk along the lake while drinking iced coffees and yoga followed up with a date at the bakery next door. I have a feeling that once it warms up I’ll be dragging my friends out for a lot more walking + iced coffee dates with me. :)
5) Sign up for a race
This is always my #1 tip when friends ask me how they can get back into shape. If you sign up for a race then you have no choice but to workout and prepare for the race, right? I make sure to sign up for races year round in order to always have a goal to work towards. I’m already planning out my first half marathon post baby. Who’s with me??
6) Take a hike
This is one of those activities that I love to do but I don’t do enough of. It’s such a fun, easy way to work up a sweat while enjoying the outdoors. I’m not sure if I can really hike with a baby bump but I’m hoping to get back into it this Fall.
As a bonus, this is also an activity you can do with friends… Hiking + a water bottle full of wine sounds like a good time to me!
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What are your favorite ‘gym-less’ ways to stay active?